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A Journey to the Safavid capitals
The Safavid was an Iranian and Shiite dynasty that dominated Iran over 221 years from the years 880 to 1101 AH (1179-907 Lunar and AD 1722-1501) and often considered the beginning of modern Iranian history.The founder of the  Safavid kingdom, Shah Isma'il I,  coronated in Tabriz in the year 1501, and the last king of the Safavid, Shah Sultan Hussein, defeated from Ashraf Afghan at 1722.Safavid era is one of the most important historical periods in Iran.
They could form a reign of a centralized kingdom (after 900 years) across Iran after the collapse of the Sasanian Empire.After Islam, several Iranian kingdoms, such as the Safari, Samanids, Taherian, Ziyaran, Al-Boyah, and Sarbedaran, came to power, but none of them could manage and cover the whole of Iran,they controlled all of what is now Iran, Azerbaijan Republic, Bahrain, Armenia, eastern Georgia, parts of the North Caucasus, Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan, as well as parts of Turkey, Syria, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The Safavid was an Iranian and Shiite dynasty that dominated Iran over 221 years

Despite their demise in 1736, their legacy is the revival of Iran as an economic bastion  between East and West, the establishment of an effective state and bureaucracy based on "checks and balances", their architectural innovations and their protection arts The Safavids have also left their mark until the present era by broadcasting the Islam Twelver in Iran, as well as in large parts of the Caucasus, Anatolia and Mesopotamia.
The Safavid Kings themselves claimed to be Shiit and declared Shiite faith as the official religion in Iran.During this period, relations between Iran and European countries were expanded.Iran has made significant progress in the Safavid period on military matters, Shiite jurisprudence, art, architecture, calligraphy, and painting.The main sympathizers of the Safavids were nomadic Turkmen groups called Qizilbash. They had been wear special hats with twelve grooves.  It was a sign of their belief in twelve Shi'a Imams.
List of Safavid monarchs:
- Ismail I(1502-1524)
- Tahmasp I(1525-1576)
- Ismail II(1576-1577)
- Mohammad Khodabanda(1577-1587)
- Abbas I of Persia(1587-1629)
- Safi of Persia(1629-1642)
- Abbas II of Persia(1642-1666)
- Suleiman I of Persia(1666-1694)
- Sultan Husayn(1694-1722)

Isfahan, "The Tiny Earthly Paradise"

Due to the rule of the Safavids and due to the specific features of this historical period during the life of them, three cities were chosen as the capital:
Tabriz: This city was the closest Iranian city to the center of the Safavids, Ardebil, which had very little distance to the Ottoman borders.It was also the gateway of science and merchant from Europe to Asia. Therefore, it was essential that the Safavid Army be close to the Ottoman borders.

Qazvin: After defeat in the Chaldoran War and capture Tabriz by the Ottomans, the Safavids decided to move the capital away from the Ottomans. But this is not the only reason for choosing Qazvin. The prevalence of some religious beliefs in this region strengthened this theory.

Esfahan: With the onset of new thinking and the flourishing age of the Safavids, the capital transferred to Isfahan? Also, Isfahan had an indicator geographical location.Shah Abbas, who had expanded the Safavid court deal with the Europeans, needed to build a new capital as well as European capitals.
The previous record of Isfahan provided this opportunity.

The first capital of Safavid dynasty

Tabriz:

Biblical evidence indicates that the Ajichay River flows from the Garden of Eden, placing Tabriz at the gates of paradise. The legacy of Tabriz and the Silk Road pedigree are no mor,  evident than the booming bazaar, one of the world's best, which has long been a buffer between empires. This sprawling city, rich in Azeri culture, with its famous carpets, steam rooms in the teahouse, its love of music and its excellent transport networks, is a perfect introduction to Iran. Located on a high plateau between Lake Orumiyeh and Mount Sahand, surrounded by rugged and eroded hills, Tabriz has milder summers than more eastern cities, though its winters may be dreadful.
Tabriz the most populated city in northwestern of Iran, one of the historical capitals of Iran and the present is the capital of East Azerbaijan province.Tabriz with more than 2.000.000 population is the largest economic hub and metropolitan area in Northwest Iran.Tabriz contains different historical monuments, representing the architectural transition of Iran throughout its history. Most of the preserved historical sites of Tabriz belong to Ilkhanid, Safavid, and Qajar.The Grand Bazaar of Tabriz, which is designated a World Heritage Site is the most beautiful historical site with different long corridors, tall decorative brickwork walls, and various colorful shops.
The beginnings of Tabriz is not well documented. The first signs of the civilization of the city belong to a burial ground dating to the Iron Age of the 1st millennium BC. that were unearthed in the late 1990s in the northern part of the Blue Mosque.
This city had its ups and downs in its history. But the best historical period of the city belonged to the Mongol Ilkhan period. During this period, numerous buildings and structures were built that the most notable of them is  Rab-e-Rashidi. The Rashidi Rab(Rab-e-Rashidi) was a small town including a library, school, mosque, dormitor, bathroom, guest house, hospital, high schools, and industrial workshops.
Tabriz was chosen as capital by several leaders from the time of the Atropates. It was the capital of the Ilkhanate (Mongolian) dynasty since 1265. During the Ghazan Khan era, which came into power in 1295, the city reached its greatest splendor. The last kingdom stretched from Amu Darya in the east to the borders of Egypt in the west and Caucasus in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south. It was once again the capital of Iran during the Qara Qoyunlu Dynasty from 1375 to 1468, and then during the Qoyunlu period from 1468 to 1501. Finally, it was the capital of the Iranian Empire from the Safavid period from 1501 to defeated in 1555.

Bazaar of Tabriz One of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East

Tabriz, with a very rich history, sheltered many historical monuments.
- Saat Tower: (clock tower), Saat Sq., Emam Ave. Saat Tower is the symbol of Tabriz. It was used as the main office of the municipality of the city.
- El Goli: (locals call it Shah Goli) One of the most famous parks in the city of Tabriz, which has a large pool of water. This place in the past has been a place for the recreation of local rulers and kings.
- Blue Mosque: This mosque is the most important and beautiful historical monument of Tabriz and is built in 1465. This mosque with its beautiful blue tiles is famous to "turquoise of Islam".
- Bazaar of Tabriz: One of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2010.
- Ark-e-Alishah (Ark Citadel): It is a wall of 28 meters which represents the remains of the citadel and the ramparts of the city of Tabriz. The construction of the arch was intended to make a great mosque in the 13th century.
- Azerbaijan Museum: It is the main archaeological museum in northwestern Iran. The museum includes archaeological objects discoveries in the region of Azerbaijan. It has three galleries: pre-Islamic history, Islamic history, and currencies.
- Maghbarat-o-Shoara: The graveyard of famous poets who was buried here.
- Jomeh Mosque: It is a large congregational mosque (Jameh) built in the city of Tabriz and rebuilt from the Seljughiya era to the Qajar period (11th-19th century).
- Rob-e-Rashidi: These are the ruins and remains of an educational and scientific complex built in the 13th century, when Tabriz was the capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty.
- Tabriz Museum of Natural History: A natural history museum with taxidermy samples of wildlife from Iran and some other countries.
- St. Mary Armenian: Church and Museum: Hub of the Armenian community. Church and museum of the Armenian community of Tabriz. The previous out church was visited by Marco Polo in 1275 while traveling to China. The tabernacle of the church was built in the style of Armenian architecture, some of whose parts may be dated to the 12th century AD.

- Kandovan Touristy village: This village is famous for its still inhabited artificial cliffs. The troglodyte houses, dug in volcanic rocks at the foot of the hills of Mount Sahand. It's similar to the homes of Cappadocia in Turkey.
- Lake Urmia: A salt lake with a very high level of salt and nice beaches and improbable bathing places. Many migratory birds stop there during their long journey to rest and feed.
- Babak Castle: A 9th-century castle located at the top of Jomhour, in the heart of the Arasbaran forest. It is nestled on a rocky peak at 2700 m altitude.
- Saint Stepanos Monastery: This 9th-century Armenian church is laid at the north of Tabriz and south of the Aras River near the Iran-Nakhichevan border. Along with two other Armenian churches in the region (St Thaddeus and the Dzordzor Chapel), it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.
 
Also you can do these at this historical city:
 Hike in El-Goli Park- Hot springs and Hydrotherapy Resorts in the north-west of Iran- Hike in Mt Eynali and its artificial forest- Watch Soccer in Sahand Stadium- listen to folk music- Ski in Sahand Resort and othe local resorts- buying Tabrizi carpets.

The Qazvin bazaar with its interesting and old architecture is one of the most spectacular places in Qazvin

Qazvin
Qazvin is a nice city with a caravanserai turned into a real arts district, original museums and a handful of decent dining options. Famous for its mats and seedless grapes, it was once the capital of all of Iran, but for most foreign travelers, it is above all a starting point for excursions to the famous castles of the Assassins and hikes in the stunning Alamut Valley. The city center is Azadi Sq, known as Sabz Meydan. The bazaar and the aisles to the southeast are the most atmospheric areas to wander at random.
is the largest city and capital of the Province of Qazvin in Iran. The city was the secondly selected capital of the Persian Empire  Safavid dynasty in 1548–1598. Archaeological discoveries in the Qazvin Plain reveal urban civilization dating back at least nine millennia. Qazvin connects Tehran, Isfahan and the Persian Gulf geographically to the Caspian Sea and Asia Minor, hence its strategic location through the ages.It is thought to have been built by Shapur II, King of Persia in 250 CE, by the name Shad Shahpur (shad can be read as 'happy'), when he built a fortification there to control regional tensions.
Qazvin was one of the main places in the history of Persia and it is from there that his reputation as an impenetrable fortress is born. During the fall of the Safavids, Qazvin was the center of the Persian meeting for the liberation of the Persian territories invaded by Ottoman, Russian and Afghan forces in the west, north and east, respectively.
Qazvin has been one of the most important historical cities of Iran throughout the history.The city was conquered by the Arabs(644 AD) and the Mongols Hulagu Khan (13th century).The city was conquered by the Arabs(644 AD) and the Mongols Hulagu Khan (13th century).After the capture of Tabriz by the Ottomans, Shah Tahmasp (1524-1576) made Qazvin the capital of the Safavid empire (founded in 1501), status that Qazvin retained for half a century until Shah Abbas I transfer the capital to Isfahan.

There are many artifacts in the ancient excavations in this city. These artifacts include various historical periods from the Sassanian dynasty to the Qajar period.
Several historical and spectacular attractions and proximity to Tehran has changed this beautiful city to one of the main tourist destinations.
You can see the most beautiful historical sites as follow:

Historical Mosques
After Islam, the abundant presence of mystics (ascetics), as well as the predominance of tradition (Hadith), religious jurisprudence (Fegh'h) and philosophy in qazvin led to the emergence of many mosques and religious schools among which the magnificent ones are:

Jame e Atigh Mosque: One of the oldest mosques in Iran built by the orders of Harun al-Rashid in 807 AD. Despite the devastating invasion of the Mongols, this mosque has retained all its splendor.
Heidarieh Mosque: Renovated by Amir Khomär-täsh after the earthquake of 1119 AD, the history of the construction of this mosque dates back to pre-Islam, where it was a temple of fire.
Masjed Al-nabi (Soltani Mosque): Covering an area of ??14,000 square meters, this mosque is one of the most glorious mosques of antiquity, built during the Safavid era.
Sanjideh Mosque: another Qazvin mosque dating from pre-Islamic Iran; an old fire temple. Its current form is attributed to the Seljuk era.
Panjeh Ali Mosque: A former place of worship for members of the royal harem in the Safavid era.
Peighambarieh School-Mosque: Founded in 1644 according to the inscriptions.
Peighambarieh Shrine: where are buried four Jewish saints who predicted the coming of Christ.
School-mosque Molla Verdikhani: founded in 1648.
Salehieh School-Mosque: founded in 1845.
Sheikhol Islam School-Mosque: renovated in 1903.
Eltefatieh School: Dating from the Il-Khanid period.
School Sardar - Mosque: built by two brothers, Hossein Khan and Hassan Khan Sardar, in 1815, as fulfillment of their promise if they returned victorious from a battle against the Russians.

Churches and Russian architecture
Qazvin contains three buildings built by the Russians in the late 19th / early 20th century. These include the current mayor's office (the former Ballet Hall), a water reservoir and the Cantor church where a Russian pilot is buried.

The most important works of the Safavid dynasty are:
Chehelsotoon Palace: The only remaining palace of the Tahmasb Safavid King  Royal Palace is the Chehelsotoon , and is located in the center of Qazvin. This place is now accessible to the public as a museum.
Aliqapoo Gate: This building was one of seven at the entrance to the Royal Palace of the Safavids.This building was first built in the era of Shah Tahmasp and was restored during the reign of Shah Abbas.
Qazvin bazaar: The Qazvin bazaar with its interesting and old architecture is one of the most spectacular places in Qazvin.
Saadat abad Garden: This garden with 6 hectares in size is one of the most famous historical gardens in Qazvin from the Safavid period.

Alamout Castle: In 1090 CE, Hassan Sabbah, the leader of Ismailites in Iran


Castles and forts
Alamout Castle: In 1090 CE, Hassan Sabbah, the leader of Ismailites in Iran, chose the Alamut region as his headquarters to campaign, preach and convert new followers. This proved to be a turning point for the destiny of Alamut Valley.For this reason, one of the strongest fortresses in Iran was built in the area.
Lambesar Castle: Lambsar was probably the largest and most fortified castle in the Nizari-Ismaili state. The fortress is located in the central Alburz Mountains, south of the Caspian Sea, about 120 km from present Tehran, Iran.
Shirkouh Castle: This strategic castle belonging to the Sassanid period is located on a mountain at an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level.This castle is one of the most important defenses castle of the Ismaili period.
Qez Qaleh Castle: Qez Qaleh Castle or Girl Castle (The castle of daughter) is one of the remains of the Sassanid castles located 20 kilometers from Qazvin.The castle leads from 3 sides to a deep valley and the only way to enter is from the south.
Meimoon Ghal'eh: Meimoon Ghal'eh (Monkey Castle), also known as Meimoon Ghal'eh Castle or Mehman Ghal'eh Castle, is one of many different castle around the Qazvin region.

Tombs, shrines and mausoleums
Imamzadeh Hossein: Imamzadeh Hossein is the funeral mosque of a son of the 8th Imam Ali al-Ridha ("Hazrat-e Reza") in Qazvin, Iran, which the Safavids - Shah Tahmasp I built in the middle of the 16th century as the center of pilgrimage.
Hamdollah Mostowfi's Tomb: Hamdallah Mustawfi Qazvini (1281-1349) is a historian, geographer and epic poet from an Arab family. He is the author of different books as: Nozhat ol-Gholub, Zafar-Nameh and Tarikh e Gozideh. His tomb is a turquoise blue conical domed structure in Qazvin.
Peighambarieh (where 4 Jewish prophets are buried)
Zobeideh Khatoon (that has also a unique traditional water reservoir)
Imamzadeh Abazar
Imamzadeh Abdollah and Imamzadeh Fazlollah in Farsajin
Imamzadeh Vali in Ziaabad
Imamzadeh Kamal in Ziaabad
Imamzadeh Ali in Shekarnab
Haft Sandoogh Pilgrimage Place
Tombs of Hassan Abad and Shahkouh
Soltan Veis
Mausoleum of Pir e Takestan
Kafar Gonbad

Bazaars and caravanserais
Qazvin has some fine examples of centuries old Bazaars and caravanserais:
Sa'd-ol-Saltaneh Complex
Qeisarieh
Saray e Vazir
Saray e Razavi (Shah)
Saray e Hadj Reza
Sadieh Bazaar
Shah Abbasi Caravanserai of Avaj
Shah Abbasi Caravanserai of Mohammad Abad
Hajib Shah Abbasi Caravanserai (Keikhosro)

The capital of Safavid

Isfahan
Although much has been written and said about Esfahan, rarely can we find such a lofty and wide capacity for a city all over the world that can be described in this manner. It seems that there is a universe of hesitation and meaning that has been epitomized in the framework of this territory. It was given the title of "Half of the World' to enable one to quest for the second half of this world inside one's self through a spiritual elevation from being in this city.
Isfahan is Iran's main tourist destination for good reasons. Its profusion of tree-lined boulevards, Persian gardens and important Islamic buildings give it a visual appeal unmatched by any other Iranian city, and the many artisans who work there strengthen its reputation as a living museum of traditional culture. Walking through the historic bazaar, the scenic bridges and the Unesco World Heritage site will surely be one of the highlights of your holiday.
Isfahan The Most Beautiful Iran Tourism City, the most important Safavid's capital, the city which the trip to Iran will not be complete without it, and the city that you should see many times.You can walk in Isfahan for hours and days and see new monuments. Historic works from thousands of years ago up to the last decades.
The oldest Sassanid buildings, the oldest Islamic buildings,the most beautiful and breathtaking mosques in Iran, Royal Safavid palaces, Zayandeh Rood beautiful river and its bridges, all these beauties are in your hands, In Isfahan, "The Tiny Earthly Paradise".

You should go, You should see:

Isfahan is Iran's main tourist destination for good reasons.



Bazaars
Shahi Bazaar – 17th century
Qeysarie Bazaar – 17th century

Churches and cathedrals

Bedkhem Church – 1627
St. Georg Church – 17th century
St. Jakob Church – 1607
St. Mary Church – 17th century
Vank Cathedral – 1664

Old traditional Houses

Alam's House
Amin's House
Malek Vineyard
Qazvinis' House – 19th century
Sheykh ol-Eslam's House

Minarets
Ali minaret – 11th century
Bagh-e-Ghoushkhane minaret – 14th century
Chehel Dokhtaran minaret – 12 century
Dardasht minarets – 14th century
Darozziafe minarets – 14th century
Menar Jonban – 14th century
Sarban minaret

Mosques
Agha Nour mosque – 16th century
Hakim Mosque
Ilchi mosque
Jameh Mosque[32]
Jarchi mosque – 1610
Lonban mosque
Maghsoudbeyk mosque – 1601
Mohammad Jafar Abadei mosque – 1878
Rahim Khan mosque – 19th century
Roknolmolk mosque
Seyyed mosque – 19th century
Shah Mosque – 1629
Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque – 1618

Museums

Isfahan The Most Beautiful Iran Tourism City


Contemporary Arts Museum Isfahan
Isfahan City Center Museum
Museum of Decorative Arts
Natural History Museum of Isfahan – 15th century

Schools (madresse)
Chahar Bagh School – early 17th century
Harati
Kassegaran school – 1694
Madreseye Khajoo
Nimavar school – 1691
Sadr school – 19th century

Palaces and caravanserais
Ali Qapu (The Royal Palace) – early 17th century
Chehel Sotoun (The Palace of Forty Columns) – 1647
Hasht-Behesht (The Palace of Eight Paradises) – 1669
Shah Caravanserai
Talar Ashraf (The Palace of Ashraf) – 1650

Squares and streets
Chaharbagh Boulevard – 1596
Chaharbagh-e-khajou Boulevard
Meydan Kohne (Old Square)
Naqsh-e Jahan Square also known as "Shah Square" or "Imam Square" – 1602

Synagogues
Kenisa-ye Bozorg (Mirakhor's kenisa)
Kenisa-ye Molla Rabbi
Kenisa-ye Sang-bast
Mullah Jacob Synagogue
Mullah Neissan Synagogue
Kenisa-ye Keter David

More
Atashgah – a Zoroastrian fire temple
The Bathhouse of Baha? al-din al-?Amili
Isfahan City Center
Jarchi hammam
New Julfa (The Armenian Quarter) – 1606
Pigeon Towers – 17th century
Takht-e Foulad